From: Keith Henson (email@example.com)
Date: Sun 27 Oct 2002 - 22:57:27 GMT
At 10:49 AM 25/10/02 -0700, you wrote:
>Dawkins begins his definition of "meme" in "The Extended Phenotype"
>with, "A unit of cultural inheritance". In recent discussions I have
>assumed that that was a necessary part of any definition of "meme".
>(That seems not to be the case for everyone, however. ;-))
>I propose that "A unit of cultural inheritance" is also sufficient to
>define a meme, and thus, is an acceptable standard definition.
There are several alternative expressions which amount to the same
thing. I usually use "replicating information pattern." And, of course,
the culture does not have to be human. I have talked to Dawkins about this
and he has no problem with it. As for a meme, the only part that is
essential is the information. This is in close analogy to genetics were a
listing on paper of base pairs for some protein is a gene.
>We may argue about exactly what and what kind of thing such a unit is,
>but I think that it is a good idea to separate the ontology debate from
>the question of definition. We may agree upon a definition of "unicorn"
>without agreeing about the ontology of unicorns.
>BTW, Dawkins defines "gene" simply as "a unit of heredity". Short,
>sweet, and sufficient. :-) No need to go into DNA, information, mutation
>rate, or anything else. KISS (Keep it simple, sister).
Yeah, but the mess he went through to get there was awesome. :-)
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